Every year on March 17th, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
Irish country singer, Bernadette, might have left the majestic isles of Ireland two decades ago to grace Music City with her presence; however, her rich heritage is still a strong influence on her life and music.
Bernadette’s love for performing is portrayed as soon as she takes the stage. Her presence demands the audience’s attention and she does not disappoint.
A respected member of the music industry has this to say about Bernadette, “My dad George Hamilton IV and I have spent a lot of time touring Europe and particularly Ireland and the UK and Bernadette epitomizes the heart and soul of an Irish songstress. She combines strong throaty vocals, a winning personality and infectious Irish brogue. She’s the whole package!”- George Hamilton V, Viva NashVegas Radio Show
With two fellow Irish girls from Convoy, Co Leitrim, Bernadette took a big jump and moved to America. After several years in California, she felt Music City calling her name and arrived here in 1994. Working as a nurse, by 2001, she had saved enough to produce her first record. And while it wasn’t yet a popular phrase, Bernadette was ahead of the curve, calling the album “YOU GO GIRL!” She heard her songs on the radio, at last the lass from Convoy was truly a recording artist and winning critical praise.
In 2005, she would establish her own label, named for her godchild Rachael living in Co Donegal, Northern sIreland. Rachael Records was created from the heart and would be reserved for the songs she felt most deeply. Her second CD titled, “Bernadette: Getting It Right!” has now been played in almost every country in the world to audience acclaim and great reviews. Upon the sudden death of her beloved fiancé in 2010, Bernadette did what she has always done; she followed the light of her winding path toward new strength and a new beginning. Now another record has been born, “Bernadette, Not The Same Me,” with the help of producer friend John Mock.
Her love for performing is strong but her love of being Irish is even stronger. A large part of Irish heritage is cooking, Bernadette shares some of her favorite Irish recipes.
1 lb. Lean mutton pieces (lamb)
1 lb. Onions
1 lb. Carrots
1 lb. Potatoes
Pinch of salt, pepper & thyme
Place lamb with thyme in saucepan and add cold water to cover.
Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for an hour.
Add onions, spuds (potatoes), carrots, all peeled and roughly chopped. Season.
Continue cooking until vegetables are tender.
*Serve with freshly baked bread and kerrygold Irish butter.
Champ or Poundies:
4 lbs. Potatoes
½ lb. Chopped scallions (spring onions)
½ pt. Milk
2 tsps. Salt
4 oz. Butter
Pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and cook in boiling water. Simmer milk and scallions for 5 minutes. Strain potatoes and mash thoroughly. Add hot milk and scallions, salt, pepper and half the butter.
*Champ is served piled high on the dish with a well of butter in the centre it is eaten with a spoon from the outside, each spoonful being dipped in the well of melted butter.*
Bernadette’s Special Hot Toddy:
1 shot of Irish whiskey (preferably Bushmills)
1 teaspoon sugar/honey
Boil a glass of water. Make sure you have a type of clear glass coffee mug with a handle. Pour whiskey into your glass, add your boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey and about 5 cloves.
Stir and enjoy!!
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